Modern carbon frames can essentially be ridden forever if they are not involved in a crash. + One of the downfalls to using carbon rims is that they are not safe to use when damaged. The biggest advantage of carbon is that strength and flex characteristics can be manipulated by the layup and aren’t as dependent on the characteristics of the material as it is with metals. I’m guessing then that even a used carbon fiber frame bike (provided it shows no signs of damage) would be a better bet than the equivalent aluminum frame bike? I agree with duncanish. It’s why you can lean into corners so hard in a crit or a descent. Bikes Fail, it is a fact of MTB life. Sure AL is lighter, but what is the point of purchasing a lighter AL frame if you are just slapping on cheap, heavy, budget components? They’re not super loud or completely quiet, hitting a nice middle ground. This is assuming that it is _relatively_ new, and an all mountain / enduro model. Over a large sharp impact, aluminum rims have the tendency to flat spot creating unequal spoke tension throughout the wheel. Not only carbon fiber production is very dirty but also disposal of broken (or just old) frame is troublesome. He droped down some large rocks…not a huge drop mind you just repeated drops of 2 feet or so and the frame broke in half! Impact, yes. It should be available in December 2016. I actually also have a AL Cannondale Flash and had a CF Cannondale Flash. I’ve done quite a bit of bouncing back and forth between carbon and aluminum rims of similar depths on a mountain bike. although, my brother, weighing 220 pounds, wrote one of the Chinese hardtail carbon frames and dropped an 8 foot stunt to flat. I had pivoted Firebird made out of aluminum where the linkage was over machined. I demoed a full carbon SC bike this summer and blown away at the stiffness that I felt from the carbon. This translates to less time spent trueing and re-tensioning spokes after every couple of rides, and more time on the trail. The concept that a softer rim and wheel build can provide some appreciable give, increasing control and comfort, is not new. n.callMethod.apply(n, arguments) : n.queue.push(arguments) For budget builds (new or used), it is hard to beat AL. I disagree that the ride feel is a placebo. Although Andrew Lumpkin from Spot insisted he would follow up with this investigation of the broken bike, Spot never reached out to me again nor did they bother to come back to this video and set the record straight.”. Luckily, damage to carbon frames can usually be repaired, whereas re-welding or patching a cracked aluminum frame is not safe. Your email address will not be published. I also remember certain ultralight aluminum frames (and handlebars) back in the day (mid 1990s) that were only guaranteed for a year against fatigue because they were so underbuilt. I don’t care who manufactures it. Some of the most common questions asked about carbon MTB rims are:  Are they worth the additional cost? If weight is no factor for you, then steel is stellar. To often as a SS rider, I go all in on certain technical sections that end up with success or falling. To say that when carbon fails it’s usually catastrophic is a gross generalization that doesn’t take into account layup types and thickness. I just prefer the feel of steel on a HT. s.parentNode.insertBefore(t, s) AUD Carbon fiber composites have a density of 1.55 g/cm 3 (epoxy resin 30%, carbon fiber 70%), that in the case of aluminum is 2.7g/cm 3 and 4.5 g/cm 3 for titanium or 7.9 g/cm 3 for steel. The only difference is the rims, which are nearly identical other than the material. This characteristic is much harder to achieve when using aluminum rims. For this reason, carbon is not an option, plus, ride quality did NOT feel better to me than my previous scandium frame or steel frame. + When undamaged, carbon rims will always return to their round shape. Many riders evaluate the pros and cons of carbon fiber rims. If all else is equal (or as close as we could reasonably get), would the difference be noticeable? When it comes to longevity, it’s generally accepted that aluminum frames have a five-year fatigue life, while the fatigue life of a carbon frame is unlimited. As with any bike, regular cleaning helps keep your drivetrain and suspension pivots in good shape and gives you the time to inspect your frame for cracks and damage. Will it be harder to true my wheels with carbon rims? The aerodynamic advantage available with carbon makes the decision clear, assuming cost isn’t prohibitive. EUR You’ve got a far bigger tire on a mountain bike, far bigger knobs. I believe that you’re correct about aluminum having the shortest fatigue life. Thanks. Probably not the case anymore but I still ride carbon bars for their potentially infinite lifespan and lighter weight. In reality, things aren’t quite as simple. Also, let’s be honest, the average avid cyclist is going to move on to something newer and shinier long before they ever approach the fatigue life of a frame. Each wheel has a center that is CNC machined from 6061-T6 forged aluminum and bolted to a carbon-fiber barrel made by the British wheel manufacturer Dymag. Breaking Bikes was ever day’s business. Required fields are marked *. A road tire on pavement has a huge amount of grip. The Ti bikes are fairly new (’13 and ’15) but they have been stellar, and certainly feel as good as steel but with the placebo affect of knowing they are much lighter. For me, and for the type of riding I do, aluminum is just better. Steel and Aluminum can bend and or dent. We talk quite a lot about how wheels can fundamentally alter the character and performance of a bike. But, I get all the same stuff in the shop now. Even then, current carbon fiber is very strong, and a large impact force would have to be sustained, enough to badly dent an aluminum frame. Your email address will not be published. Industry Nine ›, Currency: Unlike carbon fiber vehicles, aluminum is often used more for every-day vehicles like the Ford, Audi, and GM. By submitting your comment you agree to our Privacy Policy. In repeated laps on a course with roughly 30% smooth but twisty singletrack, 30% pavement, and 40% dirt road, the EA90 aluminum wheels were routinely a few seconds faster through the twisty singletrack. In time, after about two or three years the torsional forces from paddling around the bottom bracket caused two or three fatigue cracks. This article was originally published on the Art's Cyclery Blog. The EC90 is also twice the price.

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